2023 Examination Priorities

Amid rising interest rates, tightening credit markets, geopolitical concerns in Europe and Asia, stubborn inflation and continuing supply chain issues, there is a growing sense of economic uncertainty.  This uncertainty will no doubt increase the frequency of valuation disputes in the year ahead. We generally see valuation disputes spring from four primary sources:

  1. breach of representations and warranties in purchase agreements, which raise questions as to company value absent the breach;
  2. unfair prejudice to minority investors or limited partners;
  3. disagreements about price paid at exit, including earn out disputes; and
  4. increased regulatory focus on exams, which may assess valuation policies and require recurring asset valuations.

Valuation disputes tend to be centered on disagreements about accounting practices, dates of assessed value, and valuation methodology. 

On February 7, 2023, the Division of Examinations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released its 2023 Examination Priorities (“Annual Priorities”). Released at the beginning of each calendar year, the priorities tend to repeat the previous year’s priorities, and consumers of these regulatory tea leaves need to search closely